Healthy Selfishness

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Understanding Healthy Selfishness for Effective Stress Management

Have you ever wondered how selfishness can be healthy? The idea may seem paradoxical, but practicing healthy selfishness can be a kind and effective way to manage stress. So, what is healthy selfishness, and how can it help you care for others while prioritizing your own well-being?

Benevolent Selfishness: Putting Yourself First to Help Loved Ones

When it comes to caring for others, taking care of yourself is essential. If you neglect your own needs, you may not be able to perform your best and provide the care your loved ones need. For instance, imagine you are caring for your grandmother, but you are feeling stressed and exhausted. In this scenario, taking a break and getting a massage before attending to her needs can put you in a more relaxed and refreshed state of mind, enabling you to offer her better care and comfort.

The Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Selfishness

It is important to note that there is a difference between healthy and unhealthy selfishness. Avoidant or unhealthy selfishness involves neglecting others’ needs and being excessively self-centered, leading to negative consequences for oneself and others. On the other hand, healthy selfishness is about prioritizing self-care and self-love, which allows you to show up as your best self and care for others effectively.

Practice Healthy Selfishness for Effective Stress Management

In conclusion, practicing healthy selfishness can be an effective way to manage stress and care for your loved ones. Prioritizing self-care and self-love is not selfish in the negative sense but instead a crucial step towards caring for yourself and others effectively. So go ahead, say no when you need to, and take the time to do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Your loved ones will benefit from your benevolent selfishness.

*Updated July 18, 2023

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Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s has worked in the helping profession since he started college in 1990. After completing his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas, Austin in 1994, he attended the highly-regarded University of Minnesota to earn his Master’s degree in 1997. He is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is recognized as a Board Approved Supervisor by the State of Texas Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Jonathan has completed Level-2 of the Gottman Method of Couples Counseling, and in 1998 received training from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation in Advanced Critical Incident Stress Management & Debriefing. To learn more about Jonathan’s practice, click here: Jonathan F. Anderson, LPC-s.


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